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Dr. Martin Steinbrück

Tel: +49 721 608-22517


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Dr. Martin Steinbrück

Sarfraz Ahmad

Valentina Avincola

Mirco Große

Ingo Markel

Ulrike Stegmaier

Petra Severloh

Chongchong Tang

Further Information

QUENCH Homepage

High Temperature Materials Chemistry

Experimental equipment

  • High temperature thermobalance Netzsch STA 409 with MS-coupling
  • Setaram High Performance symmetrical TGA System up to 1750 °C
  • Various high temperature furnaces (resistance heating, inductive heating) for reactions in defined atmospheres (air, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, steam etc.) up to 1600 °C and in inert atmosphere up to 2300 °C.
  • Analysis of gaseous reaction products through mass spectrometry in the percentage and ppm range (Balzers GAM300).
  • INRRO facility for in-situ neutron radiography, investigations of gas-solid reactions at temperatures up to 1500 °C.
  • Single rod experimental facility QUENCH-SR with quenching devices.
  • QUENCH-facility for bundle experiments for quenching an overheated reactor core (in cooperation with IAM-WPT)
  • Metallographic laboratory, light microscopy, REM-EDX


  BOX-rig with sample lock for the investigation of the high temperature behaviour of materials in defined atmospheres up to 1700 °C
QUENCH test facility for the experimental simulation of quenching overheated reactor cores

Current research topics

Investigation of oxidation of zirconium alloys in different atmospheres (steam, air, oxygen, nitrogen, mixtures) in the temperature range 600-1600 °C. At KIT, the behaviour of new cladding alloys such as  M5TM by AREVA and ZIRLOTM by Westinghouse is examined under accident conditions, i.e. at temperatures far above operating temperatures. These alloys have been developed by the industry to improve long term stability at high burnup and are optimized for operating conditions.


Formation of zirconium nitride ZrN (golden phase) at oxidation of Zircaloy-4 in air (left) and at reaction of oxidized Zircaloy-4 with nitrogen (right)

(In-situ) investigation of hydrogen absorption during the oxidation of zirconium alloys in steam and hydrogen diffusion in zirconium via neutron radiography.


Neutron radiography sequence of hydrogen diffusion in a Zry-4 cylinder at 900 °C

Investigation of oxidation kinetics of SiC at temperatures up to 2000 °C in technically relevant atmospheres (steam, contaminated helium etc) as well as the defined adjustment of the microstructure in the joining zone of laser joined SiC components to improve high temperature resistance..


  Surface of a SiC sample oxidized at 2000°C in steam showing the formation of silica bubbles (SEM picture)



  • European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Project MatISSE (Materials’ Innovations for a Safe and Sustainable nuclear in Europe)
  • DFG Projekt Gezielte Gefügeeinstellung in der Verbindungszone lasergefügter Siliciumcarbid-Bauteile zur Verbesserung der Hochtemperaturbeständigkeit (LaJoin))
  • OECD Program SFP (Sandia Fuel Program)
  • CSARP (Cooperative Severe Accident Research Program der US Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
  • Cooperation with VGB in the fieldLOCA (Loss of Coolant Accidents)
  • IAEA Cooperative Research Program on Development, Characterization and Testing of Materials of Relevance to Nuclear Energy Sector using Neutron Beams
  • Close bilateral cooperaton with PSI, Switzerland, IBRAE, Russia and further national and international institutions


Selected publications

Stuckert, J., Große, M., Rössger, C., Klimenkov, M., Steinbrück, M., Walter, M.
QUENCH-LOCA program at KIT on secondary hydriding and results of the commissioning bundle test QUENCH-L0
Nuclear Engineering and Design 255 (2013), 185-201

Große, M., Steinbrück, M., Stuckert, J., Kastner, A., Schillinger, B.
Application of neutron radiography to study material processes during hypothetical severe accidents in nuclear reactors
Journal of Materials Science 47 (2012), 6505-6512

Grosse, M., Stuckert, J., Steinbrück, M., Kaestner, A.
Secondary hydriding during LOCA - Results from the QUENCH-L0 test
Journal of Nuclear Materials 420 (2012), 575-582

Steinbrück, M.
Comparative view on high-temperature oxidation of zirconium alloys in various atmospheres
Transactions of the American Nuclear Society 104 (2011), 465-466

Steinbrück, M.
Degradation and oxidation of B4C control rod segments at high temperatures
J. Nucl. Mater. 400 (2010), 138-150

Grosse, M.
Comparison of the high temperature steam oxidation kinetics of advanced cladding materials.
Nucl. Trans. 170 (2010), 272

Steinbrück, M.; Große, M.; Sepold, L.; Stuckert, J.
Synopsis and outcome of the QUENCH experimental program
Nucl. Eng. Design 240 (2010), 1714-1727

Große, M.; Lehmann, E.; Steinbrück, M.; Kühne, G.; Stuckert, J. 
Influence of oxide layer morphology on hydrogen concentration in tin and niobium containing zirconium alloys after high temperature steam oxidation. 
Journal of Nuclear Materials, 385 (2009), 339-45

Steinbrück, M.
Prototypical Experiments Relating to Air Oxidation of Zircaloy-4 at High Temperatures.
J. Nucl. Mater. 392 (2009), 531-544

Grosse, M.; Steinbrück, M.; Lehmann, E.; Vontobel, P. 
Kinetics of hydrogen absorption and release in zirconium alloys during steam oxidation. 
Oxidation of Metals, 70 (2008), 149-62

Steinbrück, M. 
Oxidation of zirconium alloys in oxygen at high temperatures up to 1600°C. 
Oxidation of Metals, 70 (2008), 317-29

Grosse, M.; Kühne, G.; Steinbrück, M.; Lehmann, E.; Stuckert, J.; Vontobel, P. 
Quantification of hydrogen uptake of steam-oxidized zirconium alloys by means of neutron radiography. 
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 20 (2008), 104263/1-7

Grosse, M.; Lehmann, E.; Vontobel, P.; Steinbrueck, M. 
Quantitative determination of absorbed hydrogen in oxidised zircaloy by means of neutron radiography. 
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, 566 (2006), 739-45

Steinbrück, M.; Miassoedov, A.; Schanz, G.; Sepold, L.; Stegmaier, U.; Stuckert, J. 
Experiments on air ingress during severe accidents in LWRS. 
Nuclear Engineering and Design, 236 (2006), 1709-19

Steinbrück, M. 
Hydrogen absorption by zirconium alloys at high temperatures. 
Journal of Nuclear Materials, 334 (2004), 58-64